From October 4 -7, 2017, Senior Associates Jennifer and Bob Imholt, together with Consultant Gunther Brandt, attended the 36th Annual Educators’ Conference in Costa Rica. Tri-Association was founded 34 years ago to serve schools in the regions of Central America, Colombia, the Caribbean, and Mexico. The organization offers annual opportunities for excellent professional development and educational services to the region. Each year, Tri-Association Executive Director Sonia Keller and her crew put on an incredible opportunity to recognize, celebrate, and support educators. The theme this year was “What Matters Most? Leading Learning in an Era of Change.” No strangers to the region, the Imholts attended the conference previously when they lived and worked in South America. Bob says,
“The mood of the conference was electric, so much buzz and high energy from educators looking to improve their craft. Each year, the conference seems to get better and better!”
The conference had some amazing keynote speakers, including Michael Fuller, Heidi Hayes Jacobs, Allison Zmuda, and Douglas Fisher. Their expertise was a real gift to all educators who attended. Search Associates proudly sponsored Dr. Fisher, who generously shared a copy of his recently published book, Engagement by Design: Creating Learning Environments Where Students Thrive, with all 700+ attendees! Dr. Douglas Fisher emphasized that building strong student-teacher relationships was instrumental in helping students feel safe and comfortable at school in order to learn. His presentation also underscored the importance of clear communication to students regarding learning expectations and what learning success looks like.
Jennifer and Bob enjoyed opportunities to attend additional sessions, including “Step Up to Lead” for aspiring school leaders facilitated by Yolanda Murphy-Barrena, Executive Director/CEO of Association for the Advancement of International Education. Yolanda shared ways that teachers looking to move into leadership roles can “step up,” by taking on more significant leadership tasks within their schools. Those aspiring to one day go on to Administration can move up the ladder by growing from a teacher into a team leader or department head and then looking at ways to move into coordinator roles. Taking risks and taking on additional responsibilities are building blocks for growing one’s resume and progressing towards future leadership positions. Jennifer exclaims,
“What a great way to connect with so many professionals: colleagues past and present, current Search Associates candidates, and many potential Search Associates candidates who share enthusiasm for international education. The energy was infectious!”
Next year’s Tri-Association conference is already planned and will be hosted in the beautiful Dominican Republic—See you there!